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  1. #1
    Senior Member retnav94's Avatar
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    Wet weather tires

    Have been through the search engines and I am not really finding what I need info on. I have a 29er that I ride exclusively on the road. I am looking for tires I can have a bit more confidence in during wet road conditions. Earlier this year my hybrid slide out from under me and I most likely need surgery on my shoulder as a result. I now ride the mountain bike but am very hesitant of riding when it is wet, which is quickly going to be the norm here. I ride everyday and do not want to ride at a snail's pace. I am of course cautious in turns when it is wet but anxiety should not be too much of the equation. I would prefer a wider tire, I think the stock tires are 2.2, so I am thinking 38 or 40 maybe? Anyway the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme and I think a continental tire were ones I did some reading on. I would like to hear from any wet weather folks. Many thanks
    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
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  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    On a tarmac surface, even in the wet, slick tyres offer more adhesion than tyres with treads. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but because bicycle tyres do not aquaplane a slick tyre puts more rubber on the road, even in the wet, than a tyre with treads. The rubber compound, not the tread, give you the grip. On the schwalbe website there's a technical info pdf document which explains this on page 13.

    So before thinking about tyre size, think about where you're going to be riding. If, as you say, it's exclusively on-road, get slicks. If you were going off road on loose surfaces, you'd need treaded or knobbly tyres because there you'd want the treads to dig into the mud or gravel or whatever.

    Then when you've made that choice, get whatever size fits your rims and makes you feel comfortable. Personally, for road riding, I've never felt the need to go above 32mm but ymmv.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bendico View Post
    Ok I have a question about kinda the same thing I guess. If I am going to be riding gravel rail trails when it snows should I go with a studed tire or just something with knobs and lots of tread for my Hybrid? Oh yea another thing if anyone has experience with studs in the tires will they last all winter? Some of the tires I have seen so far are not cheap and I would hope to get more than one winter out of them.

    I have also read that you have to keep your speed down with studded but no one seem to state what is a good speed to cruise at, so I was also wondering how low does the speed need to be or is this more of a road thing for keeping speed down?
    I'd suggest you post this in the winter forum, the guys from Alaska and Canada etc know all about this stuff. FWIW if you're likely to be riding on ice I'd go for studs, and as for durability the more expensive tyres have tungsten carbide studs that last longer.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bendico's Avatar
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    Moved this to the winter forum as you suggested.

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    Take life one day at a time and live well each day..
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  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    For all conditions I'm a fan of the Pasela TourGuard 32mm. I've used them on everything from smooth paved commuting on the MUP to a 300k which was a mix of chip-seal and 25k of loose gravel, to a 400k where it rained for the final 110k.
    Even in a foggy drizzle coming down a 3500', 25km long, winding mountain descent in the dark... I never worried about my tires.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    For all conditions I'm a fan of the Pasela TourGuard 32mm.
    Excellent all-round tyre, I agree. I have the 26"x1.75" version as a spare for my touring bike precisely because I might take that bike over a variety of surfaces. But if riding exclusively on the road I'd select a slick tyre.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Tires make no difference on a bicycle. Technique and experience is required on wet pavement.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member retnav94's Avatar
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    Tires make no difference on a bicycle. Technique and experience is required on wet pavement.
    Not buying this one. Although I agree that technique and experience help with everything including riding on wet pavement, riding knobby tires vs slicks can be a big factor. But if you care to elaborate, I am all ears, or eyes in this case. The more educated I am the better.
    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
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  9. #9
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Tires make no difference on a bicycle.
    Nonsense on stilts.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Tires make no difference on a bicycle.
    Nope. Wet traction varies between tires and the boundary between slipping a bit and completely loosing traction varies.

    Tour Magazine's 2007 tests confirm empirical evidence with data, showing a 10% speed (nearly 20% power) difference past which different road tires loose traction:

    http://www.conti-online.com/generato...gp4000s_en.pdf

    Tires with substantial tread (like knobs) are even worse on wet pavement.

    Technique and experience is required on wet pavement.
    Sure, although you don't need to start with a handicap provided that you're keeping spare tires on hand (otherwise you're stuck with LBS selection and price) and spending a couple cents a mile on tires.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Tires make no difference on a bicycle. Technique and experience is required on wet pavement.
    The key is to know exactly when a specific tire will break traction, so you can stay just slightly below that point. This varies slightly depending on the tire rubber composition, tread, pressure, tire load and riding temperature. A softer tire with a sticky rubber will hold traction better then a harder tire, tread can affect how the tire handles water, although hydroplaning is usually not an issue for bicycles. Ride temperature can be a bigger factor the a lot of people realise. Between 7℃ and 25℃ it doesn't really matter much, above 25℃ a tire is likely to have better traction due to the rubber getting stickier. Below 7℃ though is a bigger problem, because the rubber will get harder reducing traction. Below freezing is another issue, because precipitation is often in the form of snow or worse. For snow a MTB type knobby tire is better, as long as the snow is fairly soft and the rubber is fairly soft, if it's hard packed then it can be like ice, for ice you need studded tires. For grapple or ice pellets, think of a few billion tiny ball bearings coated in grease, your better to get off the road until it either freezes solid, melts or is removed. I disagree with Msrs' Guinness, the slipperiest material known to man is not teflon (as they say), it's a rubber tire on wet ice.....

    I live on the Bruce Peninsula and up here 98 out of 100 cars get snow tires mounted, and the other 2 just don't have them on yet. I don't have them on my mountain bike, but expect to get them after Christmas....

  12. #12
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    What little I know about hydroplaning is based on 30-year-old thinking. I don't know if conventional wisdom has changed in that time or not, but what I was taught was that hydroplaning is the result of the combination of velocity, tire pressure and size of contact patch. To hydroplane you need high velocity, low tire pressure and large contact patch (all relatively speaking). The thinking was that, at least compared to automobiles, bicycles have so much higher pressure, lower velocity and smaller contact patch that the water film can easily get out of the way, eliminating the need for siping (treads).
    Last edited by CraigB; 11-30-10 at 09:05 AM.
    Craig in Indy

  13. #13
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    What little I know about hydroplaning is based on 30-year-old thinking. I don't know if conventional wisdom has changed in that time or not, but what I was taught was that hydroplaning is the result of the combination of velocity, tire pressure and size of contact patch. To hydroplane you need high velodity, low tire pressure and large contact patch (all relatively speaking). The thinking was that, at least compared to automobiles, bicycles have so much higher pressure, lower velocity and smaller contact patch that the water film can easily get out of the way, eliminating the need for siping (treads).
    Correct. For a bike to hydroplane it would have to be going at impossibly high speeds. On a Surly Pugsley with 4" tyres @ 12psi on a very fast descent, maybe. On anything else, no chance of hydroplaning therefore slicks are best on a sound surface.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Slicks are the way to go on wet pavement.

    Although I have no idea if slicks are available for wheels larger than road/racing dimensions ?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Tires make no difference on a bicycle. Technique and experience is required on wet pavement.
    Evidence to support this statement? While I can certainly understand the nuances involved in proper handling in wet - adhesion, surface area etc present factors here.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Wet pavement is only part of the problem.
    I have found painted crosswalks very slippery when wet or icy.
    Wet leaves are piled along the road edge here. They get churned to a slippery mash by vehicles.
    These crushed wet leaves are treacherous.
    I like a light tread. My personal choices are 700c schwalbe marathon racer, and 26" schwalbe marathon dureme.
    But nothing substitutes for care and attentiveness when paint, leaves, wetness, or ice make the road slippery.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  17. #17
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    nothing substitutes for care and attentiveness when paint, leaves, wetness, or ice make the road slippery.
    Absolutely right. Especially pavement striping. When it's wet, it might as well just be oil poured on the surface of the road.
    Craig in Indy

  18. #18
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    My commute is 1/2 paved and 1/2 gravel and I do it in all weather. My bikes have medium-tread tires - Continental Tour Ride and Vittoria Randonneur - and these are as much tread as I would ever want for hard packed gravel and slightly more tread than I would choose if I only rode on pavement. Too much tread will decrease traction on hard surfaces.

    SOme other good choices: Schwalbe Marathon, Continental COntact, Panaracer Pasela, Michelin City. There are many more, and tires can be found in many widths from 25mm (like a racing bike) to 45mm and up. Select a width based on terrain, your weight, and your comfort expectations. Make sure they are inflated properly and ride cautiously - an injured shoulder is bad, but not as bad as getting run over by a dump truck.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    This Fall has been fairly rainy. I've ridden in lots of light and heavy rain and I can tell you that my Bontrager Hard Case (slicks) work great. If you go over a metal grade or manhole cover, be super careful because they will get super slick. There isn't a tire out there that can protect you on that kind of surface. There will be some differences between various tires, but I've found the Hard Case tires to be infinitely better than my Bontrager Invert Select tires I had on the bike before (those had some light tread). With the Insert select tires, the tread picked up all the little bits of road grime and the little rocks would get pushed through the tire and I'g get s flat... no such problesm with the Hard Case (slicks). Last night I finally had to put the snow tires on. We have only a few inches of snow on the ground, and the road are clear, but only 3 miles south of here they got almost 3 feet of snow (you've got to love the crazyness of how locallized lake effect snow can be). There were a few icy pathes here and there. The irony is that with the deep knobs on the tread on my Nokia W106, I feel a lot less secure. The tires squirm a lot more and in the rain I can notice less traction. Once you hit some ice or snow, the studs and deep tread are VERY welcome. For fun I've tried ridding in my street with slicks in the snow, and it was impossible. With the tread I can power my way through 6" of snow (not easy, but it can work).

    She Schwalbe's are an excellent all around tire. You won't be setting any speed or light weight records, but they are tough and will work well in all but serious Winter weather.

    Happy riding,
    André

  20. #20
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I've done very well with Vittoria Rando Cross tires. A friend of mine saw how happy I was with mine, and got a pair for his 29er, and loves them.

    Speaking of wet weather, I just changed over to quick stop salmon brake pads. So far so good.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I've done very well with Vittoria Rando Cross tires. A friend of mine saw how happy I was with mine, and got a pair for his 29er, and loves them.

    Speaking of wet weather, I just changed over to quick stop salmon brake pads. So far so good.
    Performance bike doesn't carry the Quick Stop Salmon pads, but they do have the Ritchey Red pads (same idea... wet weather pads). Those pads are awsome. I replaced my Shimano (without model name) v-brakes last year with Shimano XT brakes due to corrosion issues after 3 whole winters of use. The XT came with hard pads that started digging groves in my rims during wet weather days. Strangely enough the pads also wore out very fast... so they were hard and agressive, and wore badly. The red pads are very gentile on the rims, and are very good in snow, rain or shine. The pads also are wearing nicely. I get about 2500 (1 year of year around commuting in just about any kids of weather).

    Happy riding,
    André

  22. #22
    Senior Member retnav94's Avatar
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    Decided on Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x40c. We will see how they ride on the mountain bike. I have read a lot of good things about them. Thanks for all the info.
    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
    2005 Cannondale CAAD7 R700
    2004 Ironhorse Sage
    1992 Botteccia ADR replica


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